How Often Should Soft Play Areas Be Cleaned?

Soft play should be cleaned frequently to ensure it remains safe and hygienic. The process of cleaning soft play includes: Removing all toys, centre staff and customers from the soft play area.

Softplay keeps children safe as they play on specially designed soft surfaces and equipment. But while the play area is usually from hard objects and equipment that can cause injury, they’re not free from germs.

The soft play area and equipment need regular cleaning and maintenance to keep the germs away. You need to clean soft play at least once a day. And this should also include sanitizing the area to avoid spreading germs from one child to another. You also need to organize deep cleaning once a month.

This article will discuss everything you need to know about cleaning and maintaining soft play.

How Often Should You Clean Soft Play

You need to ensure daily cleaning of soft play to keep it safe and hygienic for children. Before we give you the step by step guide, here’s a checklist of things you should do:

  • Dust and wipe hard surfaces, including flooring and walls, daily with anti-bacterial spray and cloth. This will remove any dirt and dust so that there is no germ buildup at all.
  • Clean floors, walls, and frequently touched surfaces by mopping with a disinfectant solution or in a tub filled with hot soapy water. Cleaning in a tub is good for getting rid of germs because the dirt and grime sit at the bottom when you flush them away.
  • Wipe down surfaces that kids have to sit on, such as benches, tables, and chairs, daily using anti-bacterial spray and clean cotton cloth.
  • Wipe down toys, highchairs, strollers, changing tables twice a day to prevent the buildup of germs. Make sure you do this even if your child is not using it at that moment because he could still touch these surfaces before you sanitize them later on.

Soft Play Specialist Cleaning

Apart from the daily hygiene requirement of soft play, there is also specialist cleaning that you should consider.  You must ask yourself what would happen if small children ingest some dirt, grime, and germs? This is not a funny question.

That’s why you should invest in specialist soft play cleaning services that know the best methods to clean every inch of your playground. Specialists can clean your soft play at least once a month. You can find specialist cleaners from the manufacturer that designed your soft play equipment. They also have special cleaning supplies and machinery made specially to clean soft play.

Different Types of Soft Play Cleaning

Regular Cleaning

The first type is the regular soft-play cleaning. Regular service includes washing and sanitizing all inflatable surfaces after each use. After this process is done, your kids can play without worries.

A woman cleaning the equipment.
Regular service includes washing and sanitizing all inflatable surfaces after each use.

Soft-play cleaning for indoor and outdoor surfaces is important to get rid of bacteria and germs that will be harmful to children playing there for hours. That’s why it is very important to have a soft-play thoroughly cleaned at least once a day.

Deep Cleaning

You need to hire a professional cleaner that knows how to clean different surfaces. Experts will clean, inspect, and sanitize every surface in your inflatable. They use special cleaners for each type of material so the treatments can deliver maximum results. 

A cleaning personnel.
They use special cleaners for each type of material so the treatments can deliver maximum results. 

You can order a deep clean service once or twice a month which includes cleaning all inflatable surfaces with antibacterial agents. It also includes sanitizing the inside of the inflatable, removing dirty patches on the bottom of the bouncer with special glue removal spray and finally spraying an anti-mold protection layer.  Your kids will be playing in a clean and healthy environment.

How to Clean Soft Play Equipment

For daily cleaning of your soft play, you need to follow strict guidelines to ensure safety while removing dirt and other contaminants.

1. Know the Equipment Type

First of all, you need to know what type of soft play equipment you have in your playground. For example, if it is a machine-washable inflatable bouncer castle, you can wash it with water, but if it’s not, you cannot use water because the material might get damaged. Remember, you don’t need to expose your expensive equipment to anything that can damage it.

2. Check the Cleaning Instructions

Soft play equipment comes with a manual and instructions for cleaning.  The instructions will tell you the right products to use when cleaning. It will also warn you if any fragile components need special handling. 

If you don’t have them with you, check your manufacturer’s website for information. If the manual and the company’s guidelines don’t let you clean, then contact a specialist to do it. 

3. Prepare Cleaning Supplies

You will need these supplies to clean your soft play:

  • Soft cloth
  • Detergent suitable for that type of equipment
  • Water source. Make sure the water is clean and test it first before using it. You don’t want to risk contaminating your soft play equipment with dirty water when you’re cleaning it up.
A peson with the cleaning supplies.
You will need supplies to clean your soft play.

These are just some basic things but if you have special cleaning products for the equipment, feel free to use those instead. It means they are more efficient than these supplies mentioned above, so go ahead and try it.

4. Cleaning The Soft Play Surface

No matter how dirty your soft play area is, you only need to use soap and water to clean it. Soap is usually a mild detergent that won’t damage your equipment.  You can also use a mixture of water and vinegar if you prefer.

Cleaning the surface with your hands is efficient enough, but this will only remove dirt from popsicle sticks, shoes, etc. If you want to clean it thoroughly, we recommend using a rag or sponge because that way, it will get into all the tiny crevices and remove all the dirt.

You can use dry mopping if you don’t want to wet your soft play area. If you’ve got a big area, then go ahead and use a hose because that way, it won’t take you much time and it will do its job correctly.

5. Disinfecting the Equipment

The next step is to use non-toxic disinfectants and spray them all over the play area. Make sure to do it every time after use, and the equipment should stay clean for a long period of time. This will kill all the germs that cause bacteria and viruses in the play area. Remember, you can use these materials but make sure to follow instructions on the label; if you don’t, you might damage the surface.

A gril disinfecting the equipment.
This will kill all the germs that cause bacteria and viruses in the play area.

6. Spot Cleaning the Soft Play

Just because you cleaned the soft play in the morning doesn’t mean it remains like that throughout the day. If you notice dirt in some places in the course of the day, you can spot clean it. 

This involves pouring a little amount of water, about 1 part water, to 5 parts of the cleaning agent. Use this solution first to clean up all dirt and then follow it with plain water. This will prevent other damages caused by soft play equipment.

What Else Should You Do?

Apart from daily cleaning and disinfecting the soft play, there are also different activities you can carry out to keep the area safe. They include;

Fixing Damaged Equipment

If you notice any of the equipment getting damaged, quickly fix them. You can either do it yourself or hire a professional depending on your budget and time availability. The floor around where children play can get damaged and needs fixing from time to time.

A carpentry playtools.
If you notice any of the equipment getting damaged, quickly fix them.

Service Inspections

You need to check soft play equipment from time to time. This will ensure that everything is in order. The interval depends on the number of activities children do at the centre and how often you clean up the equipment after use. If there are no activities, it takes about six months for inspections. A professional can easily inspect and give you a report on whether there is any damage or not.

Lay Down Some Rules

Another way of keeping your soft play clean is by ensuring that children follow some simple rules. If they see something, tell them it’s not allowed, or ask a parent/caregiver if it is okay for their child to do so. For  example:

  • Not touching the walls or hanging from them
  • Taking their shoes off before playing on play equipment that has a carpeted flooring
  • Not running around when other children are using the slide
  • Let them know that they cannot eat or drink near certain equipment

You can also encourage parents to lay down some rules when taking their kids out for play. This way,  everyone will be encouraged to keep the play equipment clean and safe. You will also be teaching the child some social skills. Plus, it reinforces play equipment etiquette when out in public. 

Summary

Keeping soft play clean is not rocket science. It only requires some form of discipline and social etiquette on your part. You can also involve the children in ensuring the equipment they’re using is clean and safe from any harm. Remember, it’s all about keeping the kids and the equipment safe.

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